Living Your Love Story



"Mom, so-and-so was wondering about the first time you and dad kissed?" This question was asked amongst comments of "No, I didn't!" and "It was your idea!" We all laughed {and there might have been a few 'eeewwww's} as I recounted that fateful day so long ago. It dawned on me we'd never told that particular part of our love story before.

My children love to hear our love story. They enjoy hearing how mom and dad met, went to the same college, and eventually fell in love. They like to look at the photo albums and see the progression of "Here we are sight-seeing standing several feet apart from each other" to "We like each other so we'll stand close to each other now" to "We're in love, our faces are close together while we take self-portraits with the camera."

A couple of days ago a package was delivered from my parents. Inside, tucked away in a corner of the box, were leftover wedding announcements from our marriage almost 18 years ago. My son pulled out the picture in awe. He'd never seen it before.

wedding announcement photo

Look how young and skinny and gorgeous we were! I told him more of our love story. My son looked at the photo and wanted to know if he could keep it to put in his scrapbook. To remember.

Do your children know your love story? How your family came to be? Our children know ours. They know they are a part of our love story. They also know it is still being written; it didn't end when we got married.
The great plan of happiness revealed to prophets is the plan for a happy family. It is the love story between husband and wife, parents and children, that renews itself through the ages. ~Boyd K. Packer~

Love story



The Family: A Proclamation to the World states "Husband and Wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children....Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan." Why is marriage so essential?

Elder David A. Bednar taught us two reasons: "Reason 1: The natures of male and female spirits complete and perfect each other, and therefore men and women are intended to progress together toward exaltation. Reason 2: By divine design, both a man and a woman are needed to bring children into mortality and to provide the best setting for the rearing and nurturing of children."

The best setting for children to be born is within a family, with a father and a mother who love and honor each other. And who keep that love alive through the thick and thin of things. A good love story is one in which a couple perseveres through the trials of life together.

The first home my husband and I lived in (not counting the apartment we had while in college) was an old 800 sq foot, non-insulated wood clapboard house. It was actually three office buildings from an old ghost town called Wonder here in Nevada. The buildings were brought down by horse and buggy in the 1920's and slapped together for a family of 9 that were living in a one room house. That one room house was still in our yard and full of antique things like a cast iron wood burning cookstove. It was a dumpy little place compared to today's standards. There was only one bedroom, a small bathroom, a living room and a kitchen. We had four children before we moved. It was a tight squeeze, a lot of work in the winter to keep it heated, and a lot of work in the summer to keep it cool.  But we loved living there. The struggles we experienced brought my husband and I closer together.

A favorite movie of ours is McLintock starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.  One of the most memorable quotes is when GW (John Wayne) tells his daughter Becky what she'll get when she is married. The most important part I italicized.
"Becky! Come here. Somethin' I ought to tell you. Guess now's as good a time as any. You're going to have every young buck west of the Missouri around here tryin' to marry you - mostly because you're a handsome filly, but partly because I own everything in this country from here to there. They'll think you're going to inherit it. Well, you're not. I'm going to leave most of it to, well, to the nation really, for a park where no lumbermen'll cut down all the trees for houses with leaky roofs. Nobody'll kill all the beaver for hats for dudes nor murder the buffalo for robes. What I'm going to give you is a 500 cow spread on the Upper Green River. Now that may not seem like much, but it's more than we had, your mother and I. Some folks are gonna say I'm doin' all this so I can sit up in the hereafter and look down on a park named after me, or that I was disappointed in you - didn't want you to get all that money. But the real reason, Becky, is because I love you, and I want you and some young man to have what I had, because all the gold in the United States Treasury and all the harp music in heaven can't equal what happens between a man and a woman with all that growin' together. I can't explain it any better than that. 
That's what happened to us while living in our first home, and all the subsequent homes since. Oh, and working on a farm helped too. ☺ We learned what the Lord meant when he said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:24) or stated a little differently in modern day scripture "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else." (D&C 42:22)  If a couple is not careful there can be other 'cleavings' in their marriage: work, sports, friends, hobbies, even parents.

I have been greatly blessed in my life to have wonderful examples of what a good marriage looks like. If I were to ask them what the secrets are of their success I'm sure I'd receive answers that are similar, but also get answers that are different, for each couple has different dynamics and has had to find what worked just for them.

My husband and I have been married now for almost 18 years. In some respects it doesn't seem very long at all, but when I look at all we've experienced it seems like forever. Our marriage is strong. We are living our love story. That can be attributed to a great number of things but for this post I narrowed it down to three.

1. Put God first. I know my husband loves the Lord; loves Him more than me. That's okay! I love the Lord more than I love my husband and that's as it should be.
When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.

We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives.

The Lord said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37). ~Ezra Taft Benson, “The Great Commandment—Love the Lord,” Ensign, May 1988, 4~

By putting the Lord first we have seen everything else fall into place. We have been carried through our trials and blessed beyond measure.

2. Fidelity and Trust. When we were married we made a covenant of chastity to one another, to stay virtuous and true.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. ~The Family Proclamation, paragraph 7~
Having complete trust in each other, is vitally important. It builds a solid foundation not only for couples but also for the children who are a part of the family. When children see the loyalty their parents have for each other, and for them, it gives them security. We support each other in all our endeavors, big and little.

3. Humor. I guess I could have said any number of things for #3 like forgiveness or flexibility. But truth be told, we like to laugh an awful lot. Humor helps diffuse tense situations. It keeps us young and brings us closer together. We have a great number of "inside" jokes that we share just between the two of us, and others that are shared just in our family.

I hope we can accumulate many laugh wrinkles together. I want to be able to look at my husband's face when we are old and see wrinkles made by years and years of laughter. I want my children to remember the laughter that filled our home as we enjoyed being around one another.

What are you doing to live your love story with your spouse and children?



Today is blog-hop day! Link up any posts you have written about teachings from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Encourage others to do the same! They don't have to be newly written posts. They can be from your archives.






19 comments :

  1. I have been reading your blog for over a year, and enjoyed it. I have never left a comment... until now. This post was AMAZING! I agree! My children love our love story too. Thanks for all you do! I truly admire you and love your inspirational blog.
    P.S. I also homeschool, serve in the Church, love my family, and especially love my Heavenly Father!

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  2. Sweet post! We are living our love story too. We recently wrote it all down and asked our oldest to proof read it for us. I think it has given him a new perspective on our relationship and a new appreciation for his father and how amazing he is and probably knocked me down a few ladder rungs. But it is what it is. I cannot wait as the rest of the children learn of the story.

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  3. I always enjoy a good love story and yours is no exception. However, you led into your story with a tease of your first kiss and then skipped that part of the story. Not fair!!

    My children (all now grown) still ask for repeated tales of OUR love story. I think it gives comfort and security even as they build their own marriages.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. My husband would die if I made that story public! As it was, he was as red as red could be when I told it to the kids. :)

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    2. I wanted an answer to your teaser intro as well. But alas, we will respect your beloved's wishes.

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  4. I love that you included humor! Laughing is a big part of our family as well. It has been my ambition since I first knew my husband to make him laugh as often as I can. He didn't laugh out loud very much, even when he thought things were funny. It takes something really good to get a laugh, not just a chuckle, out of him. I think we are closer because of all those laughs.

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  5. You guys are so cute! I just love that wedding announcement photo! Steve and I are finding a lot of joy in laughing together lately...after a few stressful years for us...it's a great relationship builder indeed! :)

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    1. Humor and laughter are definitely relationship builders and HUGE stress relievers! I'm just glad we figured that out very early in our relationship.

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  6. *I* love your love story. It's one of my favorite :)

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  7. You are two of the most beautiful people I know. And it comes from that light that shines from within, your love of the Lord (not that your genes don't count, cause they certainly do)!

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  8. Love this post. My kids love hearing stories about the past, especially how we met and about our courtship, as well as stories of when each were born. I'm so glad they're developing this love of their heritage and family history. My husband says one of his goals is to make me laugh every day. Usually he manages!

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  9. this would make a great family home evening lesson. Might write one to put up THe FHE spot. your wedding announcement is lovely. YOu guys are hot :)

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  10. Ah! That's my favorite favorite favorite part of McLintock! I pretty much melt at the part you italicized, it's such a great father-daughter teaching moment of truth that few people recognize. I've tried sharing that idea using that specific quote before and been met with glazed eyes. It's so encouraging to see that someone else gets it, too.
    What a happy love story and uplifting post. Thank you!!

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  11. I just love your blog! You have a wonderful sense of humor and a great deal of wisdom to impart.

    Your wedding anouncement pic is gorgeous, btw!

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  12. What a fun love story! I agree humor is essential in a marriage.

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  13. I guess "Tell the kids our love story" needs to go at the top of our to do list. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  14. great, really great. i love such creative and lovely situations. be happy all life long:*

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  15. Love love love this! I follow your blog and have written on latter day homeschooling.... and I think we have guest posted on each other's blogs at some point! I was wondering if I could have permission to put this post on my blog as a guest post... it is SO IMPORTANT I want everyone to read it! <3 JL~ jaellekaylor@gmail.com www.ldsparenting.blogspot.com

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Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done. ☺ There, don't you feel better?

Please leave a comment! I enjoy hearing your thoughts, whether you agree with me or not. If we all agreed on everything how boring would that be? Worse than eating white chocolate, because it's fake. So be real, be yourself.